Good lord. What a week. I mean, we've got earthquakes, civil wars, European economies falling apart and massive gun violence all over the place. But it seems like the biggest North American issues right now are a tasteless Oscar host and a bad Onion tweet. And the outrage! Oh, the outrage. As somebody, somewhere pointed out in some comment about one of the many outrage(!) articles, it's like the Liberal Fox & Friends, where everybody trips all over themselves to be the most outraged about the largest perceived slight.
And what's awesome is that people have mis-interpreted a big chunk of the incidents over which they are so outraged. This Tyee article offers an interesting opinion on the whole thing, but one commenter is outraged over the "Boobs" song and points at the actresses victimized by the song and the shamed reactions that they showed when the camera panned over their faces. I'm surprised he didn't pull out the latest buzzword and suggest they were bullied! And I get it, I guess. I mean, I thought their reactions were real for about 15 seconds when I was watching as well.
But then there's people that should know better. Joan Walsh, who seems to be leading the outrage brigade over at Salon points out the horrendous joke made about Jennifer Aniston being a stripper! The outrage! Only problem, it was actually a joke about Channing Tatum being a stripper. Oh well. Still outrageous!
That's not to say I'm completely condoning Seth McFarlane or suggesting that he's not sexist. But I don't think some of this criticism is as simple as it's made out to be. The boobs song was silly and outrageous, but wasn't that the point? Isn't there something kind of amazing about a gigantic meta-joke that all at once makes fun of:
- Ridiculously unnecessary boobs in film
- Oscar hosting
- Frozen faced, smiling reaction shots
- William Shatner
Was it sexist? Most definitely probably. But it was a joke operating on a level that I can't even comprehend. And it probably moved the awareness of sexism in Hollywood a whole hell of a lot further forward than all of the faux outrage. Outrage! On to politics.
Update - One of the key points people seem to be making is that some of the boobs Seth McFarlane talked about were shown in rape scenes and this makes it poor form to joke about. But isn't that a part of the point? We're showing rape in movies, yet we still sexualize it by showing actresses boobs? We're not even allowed to make a joke about a rape scene in a movie? Can we comment on it? Can we comment on it in a humourous fashion?
Some details have come to light about the arrest of "Senator" Brazeau. No biggie. He just spit in a woman's face, pushed her down some stairs and touched her in a sexual way. Over an argument about "aboriginal issues".
Jason Kenney is pushing forward the citizenship stripping bill, and has said that, if it were legal, he would strip the citizenship of any Canadian convicted of terrorism, not just dual citizens. This piece outlines why the whole thing is absurd and this case in Quebec shows how this could be abused. A protester is facing "terrorism" related charges for comments made on social media. So, in Jason Kenney's Canada, somebody making stupid threats on Facebook (and yes, carrying a Molitiv cocktail) would be set adrift on an ice flow as a non-Canadian. Yes this guy is an idiot and yes he is a criminal. But I don't think he should be thrown out of Canada.
Hey look. The Conservatives lowballed another military purchase. This time they're $1.43 Billion off on shipbuilding costs. They said it would cost $2.6 Billion. So only %50 more required. Getting closer guys!
The Conservatives have created "targets" for the number of EI frauds that investigators need to discover. They're not quotas though. Merely targets tied to their job performance. When questions in the House of Commons, Stephen Harper did his best to duck and weave. Sad thing is, this whole thing will probably cause him to score points with Canadians. Everybody thinks EI is a waste of money and everybody using it is a fraud. Until they lose their job and make use of it themselves. Even then, many people probably think this is okay but that everybody else using it is still a fraud.
Sick of Senators yet? Four of them are facing further probes (3 Cons, 1 Lib). This article highlights the ridiculous amount of money spend by Senators on travel, and creates an interesting theory that many of them could have saved a lot of money by taking the VIA rail train between Toronto and Ottawa. Which would have been free. But takes 4.5 hours, by the looks of it. So maybe not.
The CBC shows that the forms asking Senators to detail their primary residence isn't all that complicated. Many Conservative Senators seem to think it is. Are they slow? Or deceptive?
So Stephen Harper said "I have looked at the numbers" with respect to Pamela Wallin's expenses. But he didn't say that he had "personally reviewed" them. And now he's backtracking ever-so-slightly in his defense as it has come out that she actually paid back some of the money. No word on how much. But some.
The Supreme Court may strike down laws "limiting free speech" in the name of limiting "hate speech". Readers of the National Post seem pretty excited about this. I find it interesting that all these people hate the "heavy hand of government", even though their cherished "free speech" is a function of government controlled law and order. There's all this talk of "limiting government" but people still want all of the positive effects of said government. Interestingly...
CBC - "Top court strikes down part of Sask. human rights code"
NP - "Supreme court upholds Canada's hate speech laws"
Jesus Christ. This is really weird. A former Stephen Harper adviser (and current CBC contributor) is in a bit of trouble for suggesting that viewing child pornography is not harmful. He also talks about being on the mailing list for the "National Man-Boy Love Association". Talk about special interest groups!
An NDP MP bolted to the Bloc.
An interesting article on how US government regulations are killing certain categories of vehicles and having the opposite effect as intended - decreasing rather than increasing fuel efficiency.
So the guys behind Ipsos Reid are projecting Conservative majorities for years to come? I know, I know, wait for the election. But even with all the Conservative gerrymandering and riding creation, Ekos via 308 has the Conservatives projected at 135 seats. Which is far from a majority. The yahoos potentially stay in power, but perhaps we could get some election reform?
I feel a bit for Helena Guergis. Here's my take on what happened. The Prime Minister insinuated a whole bunch of bad shit, threw her out of the caucus, and then had the RCMP investigate her. The allegations were all proven false. So she sued for having her life ruined and her name dragged through the mud. And now she has to pay over $100,000 in legal fees to the very people that she felt screwed her over? Ouch.
Theresa Spence is asking the UN to step in and fix Canada's aboriginal problems. I think the news here is that the only link to this that I can find is on the Chatham Daily News.
As an Engineer, I am awed by the improvised weaponry of the Syrian rebels. Simply amazing.
Oh man. This is disheartening. A York Police Officer is facing a disciplinary hearing, and perhaps dismissal, for not properly investigating racial slurs. Made against him. I'm not even kidding. We have cops that get caught driving drunk. That shoot people. That do all kinds of shit and keep their jobs. But this guy is perhaps going to get fired because some guy hurled racial slurs against him and he didn't do enough about it. Crazy.
The Real Estate Market is fine! No problems at all! We just don't want to let you know if that house, or any of these houses are in foreclosure. Says CMHC.
I'm sick and tired of all these lazy hippies complaining about the 1%. If they'd only get off their asses and do a bit of work, they could make it into the 1% as well. What? A rather large chunk of wealthy Britons got their money from government handouts when they were forced to give up their slaves? Oh.
The American Copyright Lobby has teamed up with (bullied?) the major US ISP's to create a system for...I don't even know how to describe this? A system for harassing people to stop pirating? Better than suing the shit out of them, I guess. How long before they want this in Canada?
This is just an amazingly awesome story about a kids hockey tournament in Turkmenistan and the politics behind it. And a kid that has 140 saves in one game.
Wow. Not one, but two Oscar related diatribes. I think one of the saddest things about being a Canadian is how excited people get when American pop culture references Canada, and how angry we get at perceived slights from Americans when it comes to Canada. People seem really pissed that Ben Affleck used creative licence with Argo. I actually found a similar sentiment on the NP after I wrote this. It's actually a pretty awesome little piece of writing.